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Google, Apple, Amazon And Facebook CEOs Testify Before U.S. Congress To Little (If Any) Result

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Google, Apple, Amazon And Facebook CEOs Testify Before U.S. Congress To Little (If Any) Result

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On July 29th, the heads of Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple had a hearing in front of the US Congress.

For over a year, top members of the US Congress have been investigating the four tech giants to determine whether the companies have abused their power and dominance in the online marketplace.

 

The world’s richest person and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos appeared before Congress for the first time.

For the first two hours he avoided every single question.

Notably, Bezos admitted that Amazon “may have” violated its own policy that prohibits the use of third-party seller data to support Amazon’s own private-label business.

At various times in the hearing, Bezos either said he couldn’t answer the question or couldn’t recall the incident he was being questioned about.

His testimony was rather underwhelming, since he seemed rather disinterested in what was going on.

Bezos, similarly to everybody else, when pressured by members of Congress over their predatory practices and their abuses of power and market dominance would resort to “American patriotism.”

Bezos referenced the “trust” Americans have in Amazon. “We need American workers to get products to American customers,” he said in his prepared remarks.

“Apple is a uniquely American company whose success is only possible in this country,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in his remarks, touting the number of US jobs it has helped create.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg played the card that the US was battling with China over tech supremacy.

“If you look at where the top technology companies come from, a decade ago the vast majority were American,” the Facebook CEO said. “Today, almost half are Chinese.”

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was confronted about internal company emails he sent in 2012 about buying Instagram. The emails were acquired by the House Judiciary Committee as part of its antitrust investigation.

In one email, Zuckerberg said Instagram could be “very disruptive” to Facebook.

In essence, Facebook viewed Instagram as a “threat” and instead of competing with it, it simply bought it.

In response, Zuckerberg did not deny he viewed Instagram as a threat, but pointed out that the deal was approved by the Federal Trade Commission at the time.

All four of the CEOs released their prepared opening remarks to the public prior to the hearing.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai said the company has offered a competitive platform that has lowered prices advertisers, giving consumers more choice.

“A competitive digital ad marketplace gives publishers and advertisers, and therefore consumers, an enormous amount of choice,” Pichai stated. “For example, competition in ads — from Twitter, Instagram, Comcast and others — has helped lower online advertising costs by 40% over the last 10 years, with these saving passed down to consumers through lower prices.”

Pichai goes on to cite Amazon’s Alexa, Twitter, Snapchat, and Facebook-owned WhatsApp as competitive platforms where people get information.

“In areas like travel and real estate, Google faces strong competition for search queries from many businesses that are experts in those areas,” Pichai stated in the written remarks. “Today’s competitive landscape looks nothing like it did 5 years ago, let alone 21 years ago, when Google launched its first product, Google Search. People have more ways to search for information than ever before.”

According to him, Google was an ally to competition, in short, and it facilitated it, regardless of any allegations and investigations into the contrary.

Apple CEO Tim Cook’s opening statement defended Apple, asserting that the company “does not have a dominant market share in any market where we do business.”

“That is not just true for iPhone; it is true for any product category,” Cook wrote in the opening statement.

“Apple’s commissions are comparable to or lower than commissions charged by the majority of our competitors,” the Apple CEO continued. “And they are vastly lower than the 50 to 70% that software developers paid to distribute their work before we launched the App Store.”

So, essentially, Cook claimed Apple also facilitates competition.

“The App Store evolves with the times, and every change we have made has been in the direction of providing a better experience for our users and a compelling business opportunity for developers,” he wrote, mentioning “more than 1.9 million American jobs in all 50 states are attributable to the App Store ecosystem.”

“I am here today because scrutiny is responsible and appropriate,” Cook said in his planned opening statement. “We approach this process with respect and humility. But we make no concession on the facts.”

In Bezos’ prepared remarks, he repeatedly called Amazon small beside competitors like Walmart while simultaneously arguing that Amazon’s size is necessary to keep the online economy running because “just like the world needs small companies, it also needs large ones.”

Finally, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg conceded to lawmakers that his company has more work to do in combating disinformation and voter suppression, according to his prepared opening statement.

“We recognize that we have a responsibility to stop bad actors from interfering with or undermining these conversations through misinformation, attempted voter suppression, or speech that is hateful or incites violence,” Zuckerberg’s statement says. “I understand the concerns people have in these areas, and we are working to address them. While we are making progress — for example, we have dramatically improved our ability to proactively find and remove harmful content and prevent election interference — I recognize that we have more to do.”

Censorship of independent media was entirely disregarded, and was besides the point of interest, since it would appear that monopolism and abuse of power and market dominance were the main focuses of the hearing.

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10 comments

  1. occupybacon says:

    Breake them monopoly scumbags!

  2. Jimmy Jim says:

    KIKERS, WASPS & AN INDIAN DANCING MONKEY! GAS EM!

  3. SnowCatzor says:

    More talk from Trump, never any action. Getting real sick of this.

    1. Superfly says:

      Trump is a salesman and scammer, not an action person.

  4. Lone Ranger says:

    Weyland-Yutani wannabes…

  5. John says:

    “trust” Americans have in Amazon? Amazon is also in Brno Czech Republic. It is International

  6. Potato Man says:

    Twitter: Iran Leader’s anti-Israel tweets don’t violate our rules.
    LMFAO this is gold and its get better as you can see all the Zion crying and saying what about Trump LMFAO those apes don’t understand different between lies and truth LMFAO made my day hahahaah butthurt zion crying like pigs LMFAO

  7. Ivan Freely says:

    Zuckerberg is one ugly bastard.

  8. HiaNd says:

    PR stunt of no importance.
    Hardly worthy reading title.

  9. hvaiallverden says:

    Yeah, another worthless saga of sniveling drivel and I dont even read this nonsensical freak show, witch is and will lead to nothing, because, this is about raw power, and against this, Trump is an feather weight looser, and will acomplish nothing, huffing and puffing and whines like an bitch.
    I am a bit amased by some peoples ability to come up with whatevers, what others can say or do on this platforms when the entire gang is about controlling the banana republic and when it comes to total hypocrasy, Trump the Oragutan is an world heavy weight champion, when He threatened Europa because of taxing this scums corps, He went total banana, and now cries like an baby about this same scumbags cencuring Him on the screen.
    Ugh….
    The truth is, Trump is castrated, and just limps in circle, and drools something about TickTock, huh, when this corps have ears into every home on this planet, backdoors built into everything, every CPU have it, made from day one, etc, to the Bozo, whom is creating an monopoly where Amazon will have total control over retail to sports equiments, Goolag the information, and I wrote about their stacking years before anyone else realised that, bot until the whiner in cheif started to howl did people react.

    No, this is for domestic abuse, and nothing will come out of it, just another freak show, because this people are from the Tribe, and Trump is their bitch.
    Yeah, just plain bullshit.
    Go fishing, much more sensible than waisting time on this, not that we can agree on the premisses, but to expect something, is like pissing against the wind.
    Forget it.

    peace

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